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Jermaine Jenas in front of a green background© Photo by Hoda Davaine

Exclusive: Jermaine Jenas gives verdict on England's Euros performance - and talks Match of the Day dreams

The former footballer chatted to HELLO! at the Emirates x HELLO! All Love Luncheon

HELLO!
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
TV & Film Editor
July 3, 2024
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England might be through to the quarter-finals at this year's European Cup, but fans are finding the team wanting with the playing style and results coming in for heavy criticism.

When asked about the team's performance at the Emirates x HELLO! All Love Luncheon former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas joked: "Argh! Why? I thought I was having a break!"

The star continued: "Let's start with the positives, we are in the quarter-finals. If you'd have said at the start of the tournament: 'We're in the quarter-finals against Switzerland', you'd have bitten someone's hand off for it.

Jermaine Jenas in a blue jacket and white shirt© Photo by Hoda Davaine
Jermaine gave his honest thoughts on England's performances

"We need to find a performance somewhere, we need to find at least 45 minutes of playing good football because at the minute we're relying on superstars to get us out of trouble and that's not going to win you a tournament."

Jermaine added: "It's great that England is still in it, but we have got a lot of work to do to get anywhere near a final, bearing in mind when we came into this, we thought we were going to win it."

Jermaine and Ellie Jenas at Wimbledon© Hoda Davaine
Jermaine attended the event alongside wife Ellie

Despite thinking it might be an easy road for England during this year's tournament, Jermaine admitted that "panic" set in during Saturday's match against Slovakia, which saw the European nation beating England 1-0 until the closing moments, with England only going ahead on extra time.

"I've been around football fans for a long time and I know how they behave and I knew the country was going to go into a meltdown for a day at least."

Reflecting on his own footballing career, which saw him scoop 21 caps for the national side, Jermaine admitted her felt a lot of "pride". He did, however, concede: "Some disappointment in there as well, I would have loved to have played more, could have been 41/51 caps quite easily.

Jermaine Jenas in a blue jacket and white shirt© Photo by Hoda Davaine
Jermaine reflected on his time in football

"When you retire, and you look back on your career because when you're in it you don't see it, but for a period of time I was one of the 23 best players in the country. I remember my mum ringing me the very first time I got picked for England and she was in tears.

"When you're a player, you demand so much of yourself and you're so focused that you're in a 'what's next' mindset."

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Jermaine already has some presenting experience under his belt, with The One Show, but it also appears that he's keen to start fronting the BBC's main football show: Match of the Day.

Jermaine Jenas and Ellie Jenas in front of Wimbledon courts© Hoda Davaine
Jermine was hopeful to present Match of the Day

Asked whether it was his dream job, the sportsman responded: "I have a lot of dreams and those dreams probably change every six months. I'm just a driven individual, I'm just trying to achieve the best I can possibly be in the field that I'm in.

"With that particular job, people saw what I was doing in that field and put one and one together and got two. 'Gary's coming to an end, Jermaine is doing great work, he's got to be in line'. But there's people like Gabby Logan and Alex Scott who would love that job."

With younger players much on the rise, Jermaine also had a key bit of advice for them. He told us: "You need to have a ball at your feet 24/7, I had a ball at my feet 24/7 and I had all the technique in the world and it still wouldn't have been enough. Loved football, still wouldn't have been enough. I had an edge and most players I came across had an edge, there was something in all of our lives that we turned into a positive.

Jermaine and Ellie Jenas in front of a background© Hoda Davaine
Jermaine and Ellie have three children

"Each athlete has something that we use as fuel, so when it's raining, I'm going out to run because I know the person whose place I'm trying to take it sat at home doing nothing."

And Jermaine was passionate about his own daughters getting involved, confirming that both his 16-year-old and 11-year-old already play the sport. "My 16-year-old is more going down the athletics route at the moment," he revealed. "She's doing the 100m and she is quick!"

He added: "I want them to do what they want to do. I don't know if they've got 100% to take what it takes to be footballers, their life has been too nice. My two-year-old son, he's too young at the moment."

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